AstraZeneca has linked up with Germany's Evotec to explore compounds and targets that have "disease-modifying potential for the treatment of chronic kidney disease".
The Anglo-Swedish drug maker has bagged a licence to a series of molecules identified by Evotec through a programme designed to explore a key mechanism in the field of CKD. AstraZeneca says it will provide "industrial scope and scale" to the alliance as well as pharmaceutical development expertise and marketing capabilities.
No financial details have been disclosed but Evotec has banked an upfront fee and is eligible to receive the usual development milestones and royalties, plus research funding. Marcus Schindler, head of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases at AstraZeneca, said that "we are committing significant efforts on R&D of potential new treatments for diabetic nephropathy, end-stage as well as CKD".
He added that the goal of the pact is to identify effective therapies to halt or slow down the decline of renal function, saying the new collaboration "complements our research efforts in the renal disease space". In July, AstraZeneca secured rights to a FibroGen drug to treat anaemia in CKD and end-stage renal disease.